HOT 97 wants to salute those in the Haitian community who have been working tirelessly to fight against poverty and problems caused by the 2010 earthquake. We want you to nominate your unsung heroes and give them the recognition that they deserve!

|| || Did You Know?  || Notable Haitians ||

Haitian Timeline

Two years ago, today, one of the most impoverished countries in this hemisphere was hit by a natural disaster that would forever change the nation. Efforts to rebuild Haiti quickly ensued and with the help of volunteer groups, coalitions and aid from all parts of the world, Haiti began the process of rebuilding and striving toward the greatness it once possessed. There are many ways in which you can help in the ongoing process of rebuilding Haiti and its people.


Yele Haiti

Yele Haiti was founded by hip hop’s very own Wyclef Jean. A native of Haiti and Grammy award-winning rapper, he has used his celebrity to lend a hand Haitian causes. The organization was founded in 2005 and is a grassroots, non-political charitable organization. To donate to Yele Haiti click here.

American Red Cross Haiti: Two Years Later

The red cross has been very instrumental in the rebuilding process of Haiti. Check out their video of the progression Haiti has accomplished in the past two years. While the process has come a ways from Januray 12th 2010, there is still a long way to go. To Donate to the American Red Cross click here.

Donate to UNICEF
UNICEF has hekped over 750,000 children return to school and another 80,000 are attending class in 193 earthquake resistant and stable schools constructed by the organization. UNICEF is also making strides in deploying clean water and sanitation supplies, therapeutic foods, medical supplies and temporary shelter to Jacmel and Port-au-Prince. UNICEF will also be focusing on children who have become separated from their families to protect them from harm or exploitation. To find more information, please visit:

Donate to CARE
CARE plans to start food distributions using stocks of high-protein biscuits from CARE warehouses in Haiti. CARE has 133 staff who are on the ground coordinating with U.N. agencies and other aid organizations to gather more detailed information about the damage and will rapidly scale up response based on those assessments. CARE also takes special interest in meaningful participation in the rebuilding of their country. CARE's staff, which is more than 95 percent Haitian, remains committed to giving all community members a strong voice in the recovery process, taking special care to assure the perspectives of women and girls are heard. For more information, please visit:

Did You Know?

Haitian Independence- Did you know that Haiti was the first free black republic in the world? In 1791, Haitians produced the world's only successful slave revolution against France's Napoleonic Army. A revolution that shocked the world when they declared their independence on January 1, 1804. After thirteen years of fighting French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his colonial forces, heroic Africans slaves under the leadership of Jean-Jacques Dessalines defeated the French and declared the land free. On January 2004 Haiti celebrated 200 years of Independence. The Haitians continued to help spread the seeds of freedom across the world and have helped countries such as the United States, Peru and Bolivia in their fight for freedom. Haiti or "Ayiti" which means “mountainous country" will forever have its place in history as the first free Black Nation in the world. {Read More}

Louisiana Purchase- Did you know that the Louisiana Purchase was facilitated by the Haitian Revolution? The defeat suffered in Haiti by the Napoleonic troops during the Haitian slave revolution of 1791, discouraged the French from pursuing their quest to gain control of the U.S. In 1803, after twelve years of unsuccessfully trying to re-enslave the Haitians, the weary and embattled French troops retreated to France and abandoned their plans to rebuild France's New World empire. It was then that Napoleon proposed the sale of Louisiana to the Americans for what amounted to mere pennies. The Louisiana Purchase encompassed all or part of 14 current U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. That purchase more than doubled the size of the United States. Many historians consider The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 a gift from Haiti to the U.S.

Founder of Chicago- Did you know that the founder of Chicago was Haitian? Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, born in St. Marc, Haiti to a French father and a Black African Slave mother, is widely regarded as the first permanent resident of Chicago, Illinois. He is said to be the earliest recorded resident of the settlement close to the mouth of the Chicago River that grew to become the city of Chicago. He is often referred to as the "Founder of Chicago" and is the first Haitian to get his own Black Heritage Stamp.




Notable Haitians
{Click here for a full list}

Edwidge Danticat- Recognized for her revolutionary novel Breath, Eyes and Memory (1993), Edwidge Danticat is a renowned Haitian-born author and celebrated as a favorite in Oprah’s Book Club. Her colorfully written illustration of the sorrows of migrating to a new world, poverty and horrific memories has won her numerous awards. Danticat has won numerous awards including MacArthur Genius Award, the American Book Award and Woman of Achievement Award. What most fans may not realize is that she started writing about her life at the tender age of nine, later pursuing her love for writing and completing her BA in French Literature at Barnard College and MFA at Brown University, soon after releasing her second novel Krik? Krak! (1996).

François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture), also Toussaint Bréda, Toussaint-L'Ouverture (May 20, 1743 – April 6, 1803) was the leader of the Haitian Revolution. Born in Saint-Domingue, Toussaint led enslaved blacks in a long struggle for independence over French colonizers, abolished slavery, and secured "native" control over the colony, Haiti. In 1797 while nominally governor of the colony, he expelled the French commissioner Léger-Félicité Sonthonax, as well as the British armies, invaded Santo Domingo to free the slaves there, and wrote a Constitution naming himself governor-for-life that established a new polity for the colony.

Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon (born November 26, 1966) is a Haitian-American actress and former fashion model. She is perhaps best known for her roles as Assistant District Attorney Valerie Heywood on the ABC police drama NYPD Blue, and as hotel employee Francesca "Fancy" Monroe on the WB sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show.

Gerald Maxwell Rivera(born May 23, 1973), better known by the mononym Maxwell, is an American R&B artist. He played an important role in the development of the soul sub-genre, neo-soul. Maxwell was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father was Pentecostal and raised in Vieques, Puerto Rico. His mother grew up in a devout Baptist household in Haiti.

Hurby "Lovebug" Azor- hip hop music producer, best known for discovering the successful female hip-hop trio Salt-n-Pepa and the also successful hip-hop duo Kid 'n Play. Hurby would also go on to produce Dana Dane, Sweet Tee, Kwamé, and others. Hurby wrote and performed in Salt-N-Pepa's music video for "Push It", on keyboards and back vocals, and also wrote the duo's song "Let's Talk About Sex."

Jacques Jiha is an Executive Vice President , Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Financial Officer of Earl G. Graves, Ltd., a multi-media company that includes Black Enterprise magazine. In this role he sets the company’s financial directions and goals as well as oversee the magazine’s production; the television and radio division, and the operations, human resources, and MIS departments.

Prior to that, Jiha was Deputy Comptroller for Pension Investment and Public Finance in the Office of the New York State Comptroller.  As the state’s chief investment officer, he managed the assets of the New York Common Retirement Fund (CRF) – the nation’s second-largest pension fund then valued at $120 billion. 

Jamie Hector: A Haitian-American actor who has had a countless number of roles in both television and the big screen, was labeled "the coming King of Hollywood" after his scene stealing role as Marlo Stanfield on the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire. Jamie grew up in Brooklyn, NY and knowing first hand the difficult choices kids face growing up in the inner-city, he co-founded Moving Mountains Inc., a community-based organization that works to teach dramatic skills, while also providing academic, health and counseling assistance. Today Jamie can be found on NBC's prime time hit-series HEROES, continually staying active mentoring youth with his Moving Mountains organization and helping earn money for victims of the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

Jean-Claude La Marre is a Haitian-American writer, director, and film and television actor. His film credits include Malcolm X, Dead Presidents, and Go For Broke. On television, he has guest-starred on New York Undercover, Law & Order, and NYPD Blue. La Marre's most recent work is Color of the Cross, a film that portrays Jesus Christ as a black man, and implies that Christ's persecution was a racially-motivated hate crime.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist. His career in art began as a graffiti artist in New York City in the late 1970s, and in the 1980s produced Neo-expressionist painting. 

Dr. Jeff Gardere- a popular psychologist, author, talk show host and jazz musician, is one of the most widely sought-after experts in his field. His first book, Smart Parenting for African-Americans: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Difficult World has been lauded as being "necessary for raising African-American children in today's society. He has appeared on a host of television shows including Oprah, to speak about fathers having more of an emotionally nurturing role in their children's lives. Most recently Gardere was the host and resident therapist on VH1's Dad Camp.

Joel Dreyfuss currently serves as the Managing Editor of The Root  and brings more than 35 years of experience as a journalist, editor and news executive. He has been editor-in-chief of Red Herring and Information Week, editor of PC Magazine, executive editor of Black Enterprise, a senior writer at Bloomberg Markets and editor-in-chief of Urban Box Office, an Internet startup.

Josmer Volmy "Jozy" Altidore is a Haitian-American soccer player currently playing for Villarreal of the Spanish Primera Division and for the United States national team.  Altidore made his professional debut in 2006 at the age of 16 with the New York Red Bulls.  Altidore has represented the U.S. on various levels of international competition, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.  Altidore was born in Livingston, New Jersey and raised in Boca Raton, Florida.  His parents were both born in Haiti.  Altidore pays tribute to his heritage by wearing a wristband bearing both flags of Haiti and the United States during his games. Source: Wikipedia

Jimmy Jean-Louis (born August 8, 1968) is a Haitian actor and model best known for his role as The Haitian on the NBC television series Heroes. Born in Petionville, Haiti, he moved to Paris at a young age to pursue a modeling career. His early roles were in French musical theatre and television commercials. Eventually settling in Los Angeles in the late 1990s, he had small parts in The Bourne Identity and Arliss before breaking into larger parts in American television and film.

Marvin Bernard (born on March 31, 1978),better known by his stage name Tony Yayo, is an American rapper and member of the hip hop group G-Unit. Tony Yayo was brought up in South Jamaica, Queens, and was longtime friends with 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks. He is signed to 50 Cent's record label G-Unit Records and recently signed a deal with EMI which will release his second untitled album. He is also running his own label G-Unit Philly. He is of Haitian descent and is taking part in the aid to the Haitian people since the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Yayo has worked with different charities and events in support of the relief efforts.

Leanna Archer-As the youngest person to ever ring the NASDAQ Stock Market opening bell, Leanna Archer has been recognized as a Teen CEO to watch.At the tender age of 9 years old, Leanna became the CEO of her own hair product line, Leanna's Inc. Today, at 15 years old, Leanna is running a successful enterprise that yields over $100,000 in revenues per year. Not only is Leanna a successful Teen Entrepreneur, but she is also a voice of inspiration for today's youth. Leanna is a motivational speaker and has dedicated her time to the enrichment and progressive movement of today's teens. In 2007, Leanna founded the Leanna Archer Education Foundation, an organization devoted to providing better opportunities for underprivileged children in Haiti. Leanna has since supported an orphanage in Haiti, where she has provided a safe learning environment for over 100 orphans.
Michaëlle Jean a well-known journalist and broadcaster became the first black Governor General of Canada in 2005 following her appointment by Canada by Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. During her time in office Ms. Jean was a social activist for women and children at risk, and advocated on behalf of disadvantaged young people. Ms. Jean was formally appointed and installed as Special Envoy for Haiti for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on November 8, 2010, for a four-year term.
Mona Scott-Young- Has been a staple in the Hip Hop music community for almost 2 decades. As former co-owner and president of Violator Management, she has professionally represented artists such as Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, LL Cool J, Maxwell and Fantasia among others. In 2008 Scott-Young branched out and started her own multimedia company Monami EntertainmenT. She is the executive producer of the docu-series "Love & Hip Hop", featuring client Jim Jones, set to air on VH1 in March.

Patrick Gaspard currently serves as the Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs for the Obama administration and is the first Haitian-American to serve in this capacity. Prior to this position, Gaspard served on the advisory board for President Barack Obama’s transition team. During the presidential campaign Mr. Gaspard served as Mr. Obama’s National Political Director.

Prior to working at the White House, Gaspard served for nine years as the Executive Vice President for Politics and Legislation for the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East labor Union, the largest local union in America.

Patrick R. Gaston is president of the Verizon Foundation, one of the 15 largest corporate foundations in America, overseeing an annual budget of $75 million and a corpus of approximately $249 million. He is responsible for philanthropic strategy, grant-making and initiatives in the foundation’s issues areas of education and literacy, family safety and health, and employee volunteerism.

Patrick is the architect of the Foundation’s signature program for education and literacy, Verizon, which provides free online lessons and learning resources for teachers, students of all ages, parents of school age children and afterschool programs.

Patty Laurent-Patty Laurent, has been producing ideal celebrity events for the last 20 years. She is the owner of Patty Laurent Signature an event planning company and also has a management company called X-FACTAH Management. Laurent has worked with major DJ's, artists, and top record labels such as Sony, Def Jam, Capitol, and Jive Records and has also worked with major corporate companies such as Pontiac, Heineken and to name a few.
Pierre Garçon- born August 8, 1986,in Carmel, New York)is an American football wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Colts in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Garcon is of Haitian descent.

Ralph Gille-Haitian American automobile designer is currently the President and CEO of the Dodge Car Brand and Senior Vice President of Design at Chrysler Group LLC. Gilles designed the 2005 Chrysler 300c
Born in New York City to Haitian immigrants, Gilles started drawing cars as a toddler. He joined Chrysler right out of college and rose to Chrysler's top design spot last year, overseeing Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles.

Amid Detroit's woes, Gilles has produced bestsellers, most notably the Chrysler 300C (a.k.a. the baby Bentley).

t of the United States.
On December 19, 2010 Raymond Lohier made history by becoming the first Haitian-American to be confirmed (unanimously) by the United States Senate as a Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit in New York. Born in Haiti, Judge Lohier began his legal career as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. He then joined the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, ultimately becoming chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.
Rodney Leon, founder and principal of Rodney Leon Architects PLLC, has an architectural background as a designer on a diversity of building types including housing, churches and transportation projects in the U.S. and abroad. Leon is the designer of the African Burial Ground Memorial in New York City which is the only National Monument in the United States dedicated to the contributions of people of African descent. After the earthquake in Haiti, Leon co-founded The Haiti Building Initiative for Sustainable Communities (HiBIscus). He is also collaborating with Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture on efforts to provide transitional housing for displaced families in Haiti entitled “The Haiti Soft House.”
Ronald & Rony Delice- On the cutting edge of men's fashion design since the late 1990s, twin brothers Ronald and Rony Delice have become known for creating fine suits that incorporate bold color combinations with edgy styling.Their Ron & Ron menswear label, worn by such celebrities as Will Smith and Samuel L. Jackson, has brought the brothers both critical acclaim and financial success, and has earned them a respected place among what Daily News Record writer Stan Gellers called "a hip new breed of 30-something tailors with a real passion for clothing."
Dr. Rose Marie Toussaint (1956 - )Haitian born physician who is one of only two women liver transplant
surgeons in the world.

Samuel Davis Dalembert (born May 10, 1981) is a Haitian Canadian professional basketball player who plays center for the NBA's Sacramento Kings. Dalembert began playing in Montreal, Quebec and played college basketball at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, United States. Dalembert is known for his excellent shot blocking ability; he averages around two blocks per game, placing him among the league's elite in this category. He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and lived there for fourteen years before moving to Montreal. After playing 8 seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, he was traded to the Sacramento Kings for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes during the 2010 offseason.

Sha Money XL- currently the Senior VP of A&R at Def Jam Records. The Haitian-American record producer helped bring rapper 50 Cent to the mainstream and served as the president of G-Unit Records for many years. Sha Money XL produced numerous tracks for 50 Cent including "Poor Lil Rich", "Beg For Mercy", and "This Is 50". He also produced singles for other artists including Slim Thug, Cormega, Snoop Dogg, Paul Wall, Juvenile, Scarface and four tracks from a 2Pac album, Pac's Life.

Shakim Compere-Shakim Compere is co-head (with Queen Latifah) of Flavor Unit Entertainment. Originally a record label and management company that worked with hip hop artists like Naughty By Nature, Faith Evans and Outkast, Flavor Unit is now primarily a film production company. In its new incarnation, the company has executive- and co-produced several hit films, including Beauty Shop, Bringing Down the House, Perfect Christmas and The Cookout.

Honorable Sybil Elias is the first Haitian-American Judge for the East Orange and Irvington Municipal Courts in New Jersey.  A former Assistant Prosecutor of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Judge Elias solidified her commitment to serving the community.
Prior to her position as assistant prosecutor, Judge Elias served as law clerk to the Hon. Irvin B. Booker, J.S.C., the Honorable Harold Fullilove, J.S.C., and the Honorable Donald Goldman, J.S.C.  Upon Judge Booker’s retirement, Judge Elias co-founded the Honorable Irvin B. Booker Scholarship Fund benefiting college bound high school seniors from the greater-Newark.

DJ Whoo Kid (born Yves Ceac in Brooklyn, NY) is a hip hop DJ and of Haitian descent raised in Queens Village, NY but with strong roots to Cap-Haitien, Haiti. He is currently signed to G-Unit Records and its subsidiary label, Shady Ville Entertainment. He is the host of Hollywood Saturdays on Sirius/XM Radio, and in March 2009 he launched the video website

Wyclef Jean -(born October 17, 1969) is a Haitian musician, record producer and politician. At age nine, Jean moved to the United States with his family and has spent much of his life in the country. He first received fame as a member of the acclaimed New Jersey hip hop group, the Fugees. On August 5, 2010, Jean filed for candidacy in the 2010 Haitian presidential election.,although the Electoral Commission subsequently ruled him ineligible to stand as he had not met the requirement to have been resident in Haiti for five years.

Haiti- A Historical Timeline {from The}

1492 - Dec. 5, Columbus lands on a large island he names Isla Española (Spanish Island), later changed to Hispaniola. It is inhabited by Taino and Arawak Indians.

1503 - First Africans brought to Hispaniola for labor after pleas from a Spanish priest who wants to save the Indians from extinction.

1592 - Spanish governor executes Queen Anacaona, the last Taino chief.

1659 - First official settlement on Tortuga (off the coast of Haiti) by French buccaneers who hunt wild cattle and by pirates who attack ships sailing from South America to Europe.

1664 - French West India Company takes control of Western third of the island and names it Saint-Domingue.

1670 - First French settlement on the main island, named Cap Francois, later Cap-Français and now Cap-Haitien, the second largest city in Haiti. Settlers grow cacao, coffee, tobacco and indigo and begin importing slaves as labor.

1685 - Louis XIV enacts the Code Noir, which regulates the treatment of slaves and sets obligations for owners. Corporal punishment is allowed, sanctioning brutal treatment.

1697 - Spain formally cedes the Western third of the island to France via the Treaty of Ryswick.

1749 - Port-au-Prince is founded.

1758 - Rebel leader Mackandal, born in Guinea, is captured and burned alive in Cap-Francois after seven years of leading an insurrection.

1777 - French officers lead a regiment of 750 free blacks from Saint-Domingue to help the fledgling U.S. fight British troops at Savannah, Georgia. The unit includes several future leaders of Haiti.

1780 - Saint-Domingue is France's richest colony, producing 40 percent of all sugar and 60 percent of all coffee consumed in Europe.

1789 - When the French Revolution starts, the colony has 500,000 slaves, 32,000 whites and 25,000 people of color (mixed-race), many of whom have inherited wealth and slaves from their white fathers.

1791 - August 22 - Slave revolt begins. Tradition says it starts with a voodoo ceremony led by Dutty Boukman. He is captured and executed but revolt spreads and plantations are torched.

1794 - February 4 - French Assembly abolishes slavery in all its colonies, ratifying what is already reality in Saint-Domingue.

1801 - Toussaint L'Ouverture defeats British and Spanish troops that invaded Santo Domingo and controls the entire island.

1802 - Napoleon sends 40,000 troops under his brother-in-law, Gen. Charles Leclerc, to re-establish slavery in the colonies. Leclerc deceives and captures Toussaint and ships him to France, where he dies in prison.

1804 - Jan. 1 - After defeating the French forces, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declares Haiti an independent nation, taking an Arawak name meaning country of mountains.

1806 - Dessalines is assassinated and Haiti splits into two states, a northern state led by an emperor, Henri Christophe, and a southern republic led by president Alexandre Pétion.

1820 - After the deaths of Pétion and Christophe, Jean-Pierre Boyer unifies Haiti into one nation and takes control of Santo Domingo as well.

1825 - France's King Charles X recognizes Haiti's independence but demands 150 million francs in indemnity, backing his conditions with a fleet of warships.

1844 - Dominican Republic declares its independence from Haiti.

1863 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln recognizes Haiti and allows trade for the first time.

1904 - Haiti celebrates 100 years of independence.

1915 - U.S. forces occupy Haiti; they will stay until 1934.

1930 - First full democratic elections in Haiti; Stenio Vincent elected.

1937 - Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo orders the expulsion of Haitians working in his country. Between 17,000 and 35,000 are killed.

1957 - Francois Duvalier, a doctor, is elected president. "Papa Doc" establishes one of the most brutal dictatorships in Haitian history. His rule is enforced by a militia commonly-known as Tonton Macoutes.

1971- Duvalier dies; his son takes power and is proclaimed President-for-Life, like is father.

1974 - The Haitian national soccer team participates in the World Cup.

1986 - Unrest leads the military to oust "Baby Doc" and his kleptocratic clan.

1990 - Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a former Catholic priest is elected with 67% of the vote.

1991 - Aristide is ousted in a coup that many Haitians believe was financed by the business elite.

1994 - Backed by a UN resolution, the Clinton Administration restores Aristide to power.

1996 - René Préval elected President; he is seen as a stand-in for Aristide.

2000- Aristide elected President again after much-disputed parliamentary elections.

2004 - Aristide leaves under pressure of an armed rebellion; he claims the U.S. kidnapped him and shipped him out.

2006 - Préval elected again. A UN peacekeeping force in Haiti since 2003 grows to 9,000 troops.

2008 - Unrest erupts as Haitians riot against high food prices.

2010 - January 12 - An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 devastates Port-au-Prince and damages much of Haiti.

Content is provided and approved by the 1804 Coalition. Historical Timeline provided by Joel Dreyfuss, Managing Editor for The Root. Notable List from